Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)

Paul Cezanne is called a visionary and his innovative style, use of perspective, and general composition and color put him well ahead of his time. Cezanne profoundly influenced art by being the bridge between 19th century impressionism and 20th century cubism.

Paul Cezanne was born on January 19, 1839, as the son of a wealthy banker in the south of France. Cezanne developed an interest in art at an early age and despite his father s displeasure, Cezanne joined author Emile Zola, his childhood friend, in Paris in 1861 to pursue a career as a painter.

At first, Cezanne paintings were characterized with a black and morbid atmosphere during his Dark Period, but around age 30, Cezanne began to change his style and habits. Cezanne paintings gradually morphed as he began to focus on landscape subjects. Fellow artist Camille Pisarro introduced Cezanne to impressionism and the men spent much time together over the next few years. In 1874, along with the other impressionists, Pisarro and Cezanne exhibited their work together.

It was not until his late fifties when Cezanne s paintings finally received the attention they deserved. His repetitive and sensitive brushstrokes are almost as easily recognizable as his most famous paintings, such as Apples and Oranges. Cezanne paintings are intense studies of his subjects and experiments with the limits of human visual perception.

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